March 06, 2020
Have you been watching 'Back in Time for the Corner Shop' on BBC 2? It follows the Arden Family as they experience the last 100 years of shop keeping, starting with the Victorians. They are running a corner shop through the last 100 years and see the way they sell and what they sell change through the time. Victorian shops were all served (no self service!) from the counter, there was little packaging and milk deliveries were made four times a day as there was no fridge.
So, if you were a shopkeeper in the Victorian or Edwardian times, what would you have sold, what would you be? Butchers, Baker, Greengrocer, Fishmonger, hardware store, general store/corner shop or a newsagent/sweet shop? It would have been very hard work though (and still is today!). You might like these boards - interiors and exteriors which often show proud shop-keepers with their aprons on (l'm rather partial to an apron!), standing outside their shop. Find inspiration here of modern shops and visual merchandising.
I would love to own a bricks and mortar shop one day, one of my other career choices was visual merchandising (Liberty are champions of this!) and I would be in my element. It would also be lovely to meet more customers in person, we love getting out to fairs, meeting you and talking about our goods. I'm not surprise though, there are at least three shops that were in our family, by my great great granddad - a bakery (pictured), another owned a butchers and there was another run by three women, which was a milliners and luxury clothes shop. All shops were in London.
Want some more inspiration from shops today? Check out Hipshops, The Shopkeepers (a wealth of resources) and Trouva is championing independent shops. Where are good towns for lots of good independent shops? We like Frome and Bath in Somerset, Whitstable and Deal in Kent. We're looking forward to visiting Hastings soon. A trip to visit our stockists and see our goods beautifully merchandised is always a joy. The high street is changing, but we are ultimately people who live in a community and can't live online for everything, after all, you can't get a haircut online can you? Let's not loose it forever.
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